Full-Scale Testing - Pipelines



Full-scale testing is useful to achieve a better understanding of how pipelines respond to loading conditions that can lead to failure. A well-designed test program can validate numerical modeling efforts, thus improving the overall confidence in the analysis results. In addition, testing can provide engineers with insights on in-service behavior and threats to pipeline safety. Testing can also be a powerful tool to predict the future performance (establish reassessment intervals) of pipelines to meet integrity assessment requirements.

For more than a decade, Stress Engineering Services has been using full-scale testing methods to help pipeline companies assess the condition of their pipeline systems in support of their integrity management program. The engineers and technicians at Stress Engineering Services are leading experts in full-scale testing methods that aid in predicting the future performance of pipeline materials with anomalies such as dents, wrinkle bends, and flaws in seam welds and vintage girth welds.

Burst Testing

Increasing pressure to a test sample until it fails in order to determine the ultimate pressure capacity of the pipe sample and/or the reduction in strength associated with given anomalies.

Pressure Cycle Fatigue Testing

Performing a fatigue test using cyclic pressure to introduce cumulative damage to simulate future service before performing a burst test or determining the fatigue life of a particular anomaly. This is a useful technique for forecasting how a pipeline might perform at some future date.

Bend Testing

Bending loads can be used to simulate pipeline conditions such as thermal buckling, land movement, and pipe/soil interaction. Simultaneous effects of internal pressure and axial tension or compression can also be applied.

Simulated Damage Creation

The process of simulating pipe damage in the test laboratory instead of using actual damaged pipe materials from the field. In addition to excessive loads, anomalies are often simulated during testing including corrosion, plain dents, wrinkles, and mechanical damage.

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